D200 Citizen’s Advisory Council (CAC)

Last year a friend sent an email to D200, Her Question was:

Please provide me with the list of names of all of citizens on the citizens advisory committee as well as the meeting minutes from the past 12 months.  Since this is a citizens committee this information should be available on the website.
Please provide me with the reason why any taxpaying citizen should have to fill out an application to be on a citizens committee? 

And the response from Charles Kyle (D200 FOIA officer):

I was included on this email and I will treat your request as a FOIA.

I wanted to share with you some information that I think will be helpful in understanding the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC is not a committee that operates under the Open Meetings Act and that is why we do not have the minutes posted on our website. I will provide you with the minutes to the CAC meetings as per your FOIA request. Also, I will share with the School Board your request of having the meeting minutes shared on the website in the future.

The CAC is capped at 36 representatives per year and is an entire year commitment. We ask interested members of our community to fill out an application because we want to make sure that they can be committed for an entire year and are a good representation of the school district. The current members are made up of taxpayers who have students in the system, have had students and do not have students in the system. As I type the response we have not turned away any taxpayer who was interested in being a part of the CAC. With that in mind, we are currently at capacity of 36 members for the 2018-2019 school year. I will get you the CAC minutes and CAC members names on August 13, 2018. Call me at 630-682-XXXX if you have any questions.

CAC Members

The list of CAC members shows two of the current school board candidate (Sue Booton and Dave Long.  At the League of Women Voters candidate forum Booton, Long, and Yeboah all mentioned being on the CAC. They claim the list is diverse in identity groups (grown children, school-aged children, no children….), but I wonder if there is any diversity in thought.

I am posting just a sampling of CAC meeting minutes (Highlighting added).

August 23, 2017 Minutes

At the August 23, 2017 meeting it appears the failed 2017 referendum, and how to get one to pass was a major topic.  Comments that disturb me included:

  • If you maneuver to sway “no” camp, you may move “yes” votes away by removing projects.
  • Biggest challenge is to overcome the trust issue.
  • How do we fund it question?? Use fees – can you use incremental taxes and fee people up?
  • Make parents feel pain then referendum.
  • 2019 tax bills will go down – do a referendum then since there will be no tax increase for the taxpayers to feel the bump.
  • If it is not academic or vocational, cut it. Draconian approach.

Read the minutes:  2017_8_23 cAC minutes

November 15, 2017 meeting minutes

Sample comments

  • “2019 is too soon. 2022 gives time for memory to fade,
  • “DSEB number has changed to $25.7”
  • Schuler noted this is truly a new revenue option, and to some degree, like referendum scenario waiting for level to drop. Not increasing taxes in aggregate.

That “$25.7” is how many millions in bonds, the district can issue without referendum, simply by posting their intention in a newspaper ad and waiting 30 days.  Citizens have 30 days to collect 6,000 signatures (10% of registered voters) to force a real referendum.  Now that Jefferson passed with a promise of no new taxes, we plan to hold them to that.  No new bonds / higher taxes without voter approval via a referendum.

Read the minutes:  2017_11_15 cAC minutes

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